Best Trade Schools in Connecticut

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by Doug Wintemute

Published June 30, 2022

Edited by Madison Hoehn
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Best Trade Schools in Connecticut
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Trade schools provide students with career-based training for professional trades. Compared to a bachelor's degree, trade school programs are typically shorter, less expensive, and more specialized.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics' (NCES) College Navigator, there are about 25 trade schools in Connecticut that offer less than two-year programs. Here, we explore these schools and programs and highlight the best trade schools in Connecticut.

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Trade Jobs and Salaries in Connecticut

The following list includes the highest-employed trade jobs in the state. For each position, we examine the projected growth and salary information according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the Connecticut Department of Labor.

Library Technician

Insurance Appraiser

Hairdresser

Dental Assistant

Cook, Institution and Cafeteria

Trade Schools in Connecticut

Connecticut trade schools focus on hands-on training for the trades careers with the highest demand, including computer programming, massage therapy, and physical and occupational therapy. Trade school programs typically feature less than two years of studies and extensive practical training.

According to NCES, there are 25 trade schools in Connecticut, including industrial management, cosmetology, and correctional schools. As per the BLS, funeral home managers in Connecticut earned more than the nationwide average annual salary of $95,220 for these workers in May 2021. Radiation therapists in the state earned an average of $102,440 per year, more than the average annual salary for these workers nationwide.

Average Cost of Trade School in Connecticut

According to the Education Data Initiative, the average annual tuition at schools with less than two-year programs is $12,735. Connecticut's four-year public schools had an average tuition of $13,886 in 2019-20, whereas private schools charged an average of $43,242, as per NCES data.

While the average annual tuition costs for trade and public schools may appear close, a bachelor's degree takes at least twice the time to finish. According to the BLS, professionals with postsecondary training but no degree made $877 weekly in 2020, while bachelor's graduates made $1,305.

Therefore, trade school graduates can pay off their training between 14-29 weeks, whereas bachelor's graduates take between 42-133 weeks, depending on program length and school type.

Financial Aid for Trade Schools in Connecticut

Students in Connecticut trade schools can access federal financial aid, private loans, and scholarships. The requirements vary, but scholarships typically reward applicants based on strong academic merit. The following are some of the best awards available to trade school students in Connecticut.

Scholarships for Connecticut Programs

SkillPointe Foundation Scholarship

Greater Hartford Trades Scholarship

Dominion Energy Educational Equity Scholarship Program

Scholarships are attractive to students because the funds do not require repayment. Awards may have renewable funds for students who maintain a high GPA. Some awards may require students to join organizations or commit to a postgraduate employment contract.

Accreditations in Connecticut

Accreditation for trade schools in Connecticut varies by institution and field specialty. Some of the most common organizations accrediting schools in the state include the Commission of the Council on Occupational Education, the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges, and the National Accrediting Commission of Career Arts and Sciences.

In addition to institutional accreditation, some programs hold accreditation. These may include massage programs recognized by the Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation or healthcare programs recognized by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs.

Accreditation provides students and employers with quality assurances. It ensures that the training provided by a school meets an industry standard and will be recognized by the governing bodies. As a result, accreditation may also be necessary for postgraduate licensure.

Apprenticeships in Connecticut

Prospective tradespeople can also pursue apprenticeships in Connecticut. In addition to coursework, these programs provide on-the-job training, which differs from trade school programs. The Connecticut Apprenticeship Program works with the electrician, construction, and healthcare fields.

Connecticut also has vocational high schools and programs for high school students, preparing them with technical skills and specialized training in various trades.

Frequently Asked Questions About Technical Schools in Connecticut

How many trade schools are there in Connecticut?

According to the College Navigator, Connecticut has 25 schools that offer non-degree programs in two years or less. If we only count unique schools and not institutions with multiple campuses, Connecticut has 17 trade schools.

Connecticut trade schools specialize in disciplines like tractor-trailer training, cosmetology, hairdressing, and industrial management. Some of the schools allow learners to take classes in different locations and online.

What trade pays the most in Connecticut?

Salaries depend on many factors, including employer, experience, and credentials. According to the Connecticut Department of Labor, the highest-paying trade career in the state is a mortician, undertaker, and funeral arranger. In the first quarter of 2020, these professionals made average annual salaries of $130,522.

Other high-paying trade jobs in the state include radiation therapists ($104,070), funeral home managers ($101,850), and air traffic controllers ($97,110). With experience and more credentials, professionals may earn even higher wages.

What are the happiest trade jobs?

The happiest trade jobs differ for everyone, as it depends on the person doing the job, the employer, and the people they work with. According to Payscale's Most and Least Meaningful Jobs, radiation therapists hold the highest percentage of satisfied trade professionals at 86%.

Other highly satisfied tradespeople include water treatment plant and system operators at 72%, massage therapists at 70%, and diagnostic medical sonographers at 76%. Many tradespeople can find happiness in their job if they genuinely enjoy the work they do.

What is the easiest trade to learn?

The easiest trade to learn depends on the student and their skills. Many trade programs can be completed in less than one year, such as barbering and cosmetology. Commercial truck driver training can be completed in less than 200 hours, making it one of the shorter trade pathways available.

Many students choose to attend trade schools in Connecticut because of the practical and career-focused training. Students who struggle with traditional studies and theoretical discussions may find the hands-on training of these programs more suitable for them and easier to complete.

Best Connecticut Trade Schools

Each program on the list will meet our criteria, being:

Rankings Methodology:

  • Must offer less than one-year certifications
  • Accredited
  • Less than 18-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio
  • Less than $35,000 in tuition costs
  • Over 50% graduation rate

Belle Academy of Cosmetology LLC

  • Type: Private for-profit
  • Cost: $11,715
  • Location: Waterbury, Connecticut
  • Admission requirements: Applicants need a high school or GED diploma and a completed interview for admission.
  • Graduation requirements: Students need to complete 1,500 hours of training to graduate from the cosmetology program.
  • Accreditation: The school is accredited by the National Accrediting Commission of Career Arts and Sciences.

About the Program:

Belle Academy of Cosmetology LLC enrolls fewer than 10 students in its cosmetology, barbering, nail technician, and eyelash technician programs.

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Bristol Technical Education Center

  • Type: Public
  • Cost: $7,514
  • Location: Bristol, Connecticut
  • Admission requirements: Applicants must be in grade 11 or 12 or have a high school or GED diploma for admission. Candidates also need to complete an admission test for entry.
  • Graduation requirements: Graduation requirements vary. For example, students need to complete 900 hours of training for the technology certificate. The health technology program, conversely, requires two years of training.
  • Accreditation: The school is accredited by the Commission of the Council on Occupational Education.

About the Program:

The Bristol Technical Education Center enrolls about 150 students in seven programs, including automotive technology, welding and metal fabrication, and health technology.

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Cortiva Institute

  • Type: Private for-profit
  • Cost: $25,229
  • Location: Cromwell, Connecticut
  • Admission requirements: Applicants need a high school or GED diploma for admission.
  • Graduation requirements: Students must complete 900 training hours to graduate from the massage program and qualify for up to eight certifications.
  • Accreditation: The school is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges, and the massage program is accredited by the Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation.

About the Program:

The Cortiva Institute enrolls fewer than 100 students and offers massage therapist and esthetician programs.

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Academy Di Capelli-School of Cosmetology

  • Type: Private for-profit
  • Cost: $12,632
  • Location: Wallingford, Connecticut
  • Admission requirements: Applicants need a high school or GED diploma for admission. They also need to complete an interview.
  • Graduation requirements: Students must complete 1,500 hours of training for the cosmetology program, including 1,300 clinical hours. The barbering program requires 1,000 hours, and the esthetician program requires 600 hours.
  • Accreditation: The school is accredited by the National Accrediting Commission of Career Arts and Sciences.

About the Program:

Academy Di Capelli-School of Cosmetology enrolls fewer than 200 students in its cosmetology, barbering, esthetician, and makeup programs.

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Paul Mitchell the School-North Haven

  • Type: Private for-profit
  • Cost: $17,276
  • Location: North Haven, Connecticut
  • Admission requirements: Applicants need a high school or GED diploma for admission.
  • Graduation requirements: Students must complete 1,500 hours of training for the cosmetology program. The esthetics program requires 600 hours, the makeup program requires 100, and the nail academy program requires 100 hours.
  • Accreditation: The school is accredited by the National Accrediting Commission of Career Arts and Sciences.

About the Program:

Paul Mitchell the School-North Haven enrolls more than 200 students and runs cosmetology, makeup, esthetics, and nail academy programs.

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International Institute of Cosmetology

  • Type: Private for-profit
  • Cost: $14,723
  • Location: Wethersfield, Connecticut
  • Admission requirements: Applicants need a high school or GED diploma for admission. They also need to complete an interview.
  • Graduation requirements: Students must complete 1,500 hours of study for the cosmetology program, 1,000 hours for barbering, 600 hours for the esthetics program, and 45 hours for the makeup classes.
  • Accreditation: The school is accredited by the National Accrediting Commission of Career Arts and Sciences.

About the Program:

The International Institute of Cosmetology enrolls more than 150 students and features programs in cosmetology, esthetics, makeup, eyelash technician, and barbering.

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New England Tractor Trailer Training School of CT-Bridgeport

  • Type: Private for-profit
  • Cost: $16,272
  • Location: Bridgeport, Connecticut
  • Admission requirements: Applicants need a high school or GED diploma for admission.
  • Graduation requirements: Students must complete the required number of training and driving hours and the driving tests to graduate.
  • Accreditation: The school is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges.

About the Program:

The New England Tractor Trailer Training School of CT-Bridgeport enrolls nearly 400 students in its commercial truck driving program.

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Porter and Chester Institute of Hamden

  • Type: Private for-profit
  • Cost: $21,294
  • Location: Hamden, Connecticut and online
  • Admission requirements: Applicants need a high school or GED diploma for admission.
  • Graduation requirements: Students need to complete the required number of hours and clinical exercises to graduate. Some programs require testing as well.
  • Accreditation: The school is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges.

About the Program:

Porter and Chester Institute of Hamden enrolls fewer than 400 students and has automotive, computers, healthcare, cosmetology, and other trades programs.

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Branford Academy of Hair and Cosmetology

  • Type: Private for-profit
  • Cost: $16,488
  • Location: Branford, Connecticut
  • Admission requirements: Applicants need a high school or GED diploma admission.
  • Graduation requirements: Students must complete more than 1,500 hours to graduate from the cosmetology program. Other programs have their own study-hour requirements.
  • Accreditation: The school is accredited by the National Accrediting Commission of Career Arts and Sciences.

About the Program:

The Branford Academy of Hair and Cosmetology enrolls fewer than 20 students in its cosmetology, barbering, and esthetics programs.

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New England Tractor Trailer Training School of Connecticut

  • Type: Private for-profit
  • Cost: $14,651
  • Location: Somers, Connecticut
  • Admission requirements: Applicants need a high school or GED diploma for admission.
  • Graduation requirements: Students must complete the required training hours, road training, and road tests to graduate.
  • Accreditation: The school is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges.

About the Program:

New England Tractor Trailer Training School of Connecticut enrolls more than 300 students in its commercial driver's license program.

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Other Notable Connecticut Trade Schools

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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